Blog Post

Pat Robertson Defends “Curse on Haiti” Comments

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist Televangelist Pat Robertson is standing by his controversial comments about the Haitian earthquake’s connection to a pact with the devil made by people centuries ago. The comments were made by Dr. Robertson the day after the Jan. 12 mega-quake that struck Haiti, leaving millions homeless and up to 100,000 dead. While commenting about the quake during a segment of The 700 Club, Dr. Robertson said that “something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it.” The incident he is referring to occurred during the slave rebellion of 1791 when a former slave named Bouckman and a group of voodoo priests made a famous pact with the devil in exchange for liberation from the French occupation of their country. The event occurred on  Aug. 14 under a tree in Bois-Caiman. During the ceremony, which called for the sacrifice of a black pig, a priestess was possessed by a spirit named Ezili Dantor who accepted the sacrifice. Hundreds of slaves drank the pig’s blood while Bouckman promised to dedicate Haiti to Satan for 200 years. Haiti declared its independence from France in 1804, and the site of the sacrifice has been a shrine ever since. Annual voodoo ceremonies renewing the pact are conducted on the site every year on Aug. 14 and an iron statue of a pig stands in Port-au-Prince to this day to commemorate the event. "You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free,” Dr. Robertson said during the broadcast, “But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other." Chris Roslan, a spokesman for Dr. Robertson’s television network, said this point of history, combined with the horrible state of the country, “has led countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed.” However, he points out that Dr. Robertson never stated that the earthquake was God’s wrath. “If you watch the entire video segment, Dr. Robertson’s compassion for the people of Haiti is clear. He called for prayer for them.” Senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett said she was "speechless about that kind of remark." while White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters "[i]t never ceases to amaze, that in times of amazing human suffering, somebody says something that could be so utterly stupid." Haiti’s ambassador to the U.S. also criticized Robertson, even though he openly admitted that the pact with the devil did indeed occur. This is not the first time Dr. Robertson linked God’s wrath with horrendous natural disasters. He also asserted that Hurricane Katrina and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were punishments from God for the sin of abortion, feminism, homosexuality and abortion, comments which brought the same widespread condemnation as his most recent remarks.   Haiti’s official religion is Roman Catholicism but voodoo is considered to be it’s national religion with more than half of the population practicing it to some degree. © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®